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Laxman steers India to last day safety

  • Story Highlights
  • India grind out draw in Napier to keep 1-0 series lead going into final Test
  • VVS Laxman hits fine centure on the final day at McLean Park
  • England level one-day international series against South Africa
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(CNN) -- An unbeaten 124 from VVS Laxman in tandem with a painstaking 137 from Gautam Gambhir made sure India saved the second Test against New Zealand at Napier on Monday.

Laxman celebrates his 14th Test century as the game petered out to a draw.

Laxman celebrates his 14th Test century as the game petered out to a draw.

India were always battling for a draw after being forced to follow-on some 314 runs behind the Kiwis, but eventually declared on 476 for four wickets late on the fifth day.

With no positive result possible the game was called off as a draw, a disappointment for the home side, who dominated for three days at McLean Park.

But they ran into the insurmountable obstacle of Gambhir, whose innings lasted over 10 and a half hours, facing 436 balls.

He shared vital partnerships with Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar on the fourth day and with the freerer-scoring Laxman on the final day.

The New Zealanders had an early success when Chris Martin removed Test cricket's leading run scorer Tendulkar with the Indians still trailing overall, but Gambhir and Laxman snuffed out victory hopes.

Laxman needed 187 balls to bring up his 14th Test ton while Gambhir, who added just 35 runs to his overnight score, went just before tea, trapped leg before wicket to Jeetan Patel.

Yuvraj Singh was unbeaten on 54 in partnership with Laxman when the game was called off.

India will take a 1-0 series lead to Wellington for the final Test on Friday.

In other international cricket action, England drew level with West Indies in their best-of-five one-day series with a nine-wicket win in Barbados.

England captain Andrew Strauss led from the front with an unbeaten 79 off 61 balls as they successfully chased a victory target of 135 from 20 overs under the Duckworth/Lewis method.

Earlier they restricted West Indies to 239 for nine in 50 overs before rain intervened.

The two teams are tied at two wins apiece ahead of the series decider in St. Lucia on Friday.

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